Fire incidents increase in Davao region

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/29 December) – Fire incidents that hit residential areas increased to 362 cases for the period January to November 2015, or 9.11 percent more compared to the 329 cases for the same period last year in Davao Region.

Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) 11 spokesperson Nestor Jimenez, said during Monday’s Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City that many of the fire incidents were caused by unattended candles during brownouts.

He said there were also cases of fires caused by mosquito coils.

The region suffered from brownouts recently due to the preventive maintenance work on major power plants and the reduced water level at hydropower sources caused by El Nino or dry spell that is expected to last until August 2016. Hydropower plants provide over half of Mindanao’s power supply.

One fire incident caused by a candle claimed the life of Pastor Javana Nuez, 25, a resident of Lapaz, Agusan del Sur, who was staying at the staff house of their church last Dec. 26, at Purok 6, Barangay 37-D, Poblacion, this city.

Her remains were recovered inside the facility’s lavatory, Jimenez said.

“Didto sya nisulod kay abe siguro niya didto ang safest nga lugar. (She went inside the lavatory thinking it was the safest place),” he said.

He advised residents to place the candle in areas where it will not catch fire.

Overall, BFP 11 recorded 976 fire incidents from January to November 2015, with damage pegged at P258.304 million. The bureau recorded 694 cases for the same period last year.

Davao City topped the list with 418 cases, followed by Davao del Sur with 185, Davao del Norte with 18, Davao Oriental with 141, and Compostela Valley wth 51.

During a forum on power outlook for Mindanao last month, Noriel Christopher Reyes, science research specialist II at the Department of Energy’s Electric Power Industry Management Bureau, said four units of coal-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 550 megawatts will open by first half of 2016.

Two units will start in the first quarter: the 150-MW unit of the Therma SOuth Inc., a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power, in Binugao, Toril in Davao City; and the 100-MW unit of the Sarangani Energy Corporation in Maasim, Sarangani Province.

The San Miguel Power Corporation will start commercial operation of its two power plants, each having a capacity of 150 MW, in the second quarter, according to Reyes. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)